[Windows 8] How to jailbreak Windows RT tablets to install desktop apps

windows_rt“Can I run desktop apps on Windows RT devices (such as Microsoft Surface RT)?” That is the main question most users are confused by when it comes to Windows RT. And officially, the answer is “No.” That means Windows Store is the only source of apps for Windows RT tablets. Because of the ARM architecture of Windows RT, legacy desktop apps need to be reconstructed and must be available through Windows Store to be run on Windows RT tablets. However, every rule can be broken. People at XDA-Developers have found a way that allows you to install uncertified reconstructed desktop apps on Windows RT devices. In other words, they have found out how to ‘jailbreak’ Windows RT and in this article I will show you how to do it.

BEFORE WE BEGIN

First of all, take note that jailbreaking allows you to run desktop (i.e. non-Windows Store) apps on your Windows RT tablet. However, that does not mean you will be running traditional Windows programs like Photoshop, AutoCad, etc. The catch with jailbreaking your tablet is you can only install desktop apps specifically designed to run on ARM architecture. That means developers need to reconfigure their apps to specifically run on Windows RT. The conundrum is most developers that are reconfiguring their apps for Windows RT are offering the apps through Windows Store. So, in a way, jailbreaking won’t be useful until more developers release ARM-based desktops apps for Windows RT. Still, it is good to know how to do it.

Also, take note this method *should* work for all Windows RT tablets. However, proceed further at your own risk. Not only may jailbreaking void your warranty, but it may cause Blue Screen of Death or other issues. dotTech and its writers are not responsible for any gain or harm incurred by following this guide.

Lastly, take note Microsoft has said they may disable jailbreaking in the near future, if they want to.

HOW TO JAILBREAK WINDOWS RT

Typically jailbreaking is a very complicated process. However, thanks to a tool created by netham45 of XDA-Developers, it is very easy.

To jailbreak your Windows RT tablet, do the following:

  • Download Windows RT Jailbreak Tool on your Windows RT tablet.
  • Once downloaded, right click/long tap on the downloaded file and choose “Extract all.” Select the destination folder where you want to extract the files and extract them.
  • Now restart your device. Let it boot normally until it reaches the login screen. Login and go to the desktop. Now you must wait about two minutes at the desktop before doing the next step.
  • Once you have waited two minutes, find the files that you extracted earlier and run the file “runExploit.bat”.
  • Once you run the file, you need to follow on-screen instructions to do the jailbreak. You may be prompted multiple times, with things like being asked to run jailbreak on login, uninstall the jailbreak, or to run the jailbreak only once, asked about a ‘Developer License’ (which you have to tap ‘I Agree’), asked to login to your account (which you must login), and asked if you want to continue (to which you have to say say yes). Simply follow whatever on-screen instructions you receive and you will have a jailbroken device in no time.
  • Done!

Conclusion

Enjoy!

[via XDA-Developers, image via ASUS]

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11 comments

  1. kyle

    If I jailbreak my surface will instill be able to run the apps already installed on my tablet such as Microsoft word because I need that for school but the apps and games on here are very limited and I’ve tried to download games online and I keep getting a message saying something like this app cannot run please download apps from the windows store

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  3. Hoàng Tú
    Author/

    [@hatam]
    Hi
    That means you need to press the Volume Down button on your device. If you are using a Surface RT, Volume button is on the left side of it; what you have to do is press its down button just like you want to lower the volume.

  4. hatam

    Hi
    please guide me to run jailbreak , when I perform all step.after asking if you want to continue (to which you have to say say yes)the screen show (please press VOLUME DOWN now.i don’t know what it is mean ,,please tell me what I do…thanks

  5. Hoàng Tú
    Author/

    Technically, the hardware is the key difference between Windows RT and Windows 8. Most tablets (Surface RT, iPad, Android tablets) and smartphone are based on ARM architecture that is different from x86/x64 architecture on laptop, desktop, etc.
    Therefore, only specific designed “things” can run on ARM platform, even Windows. So you can’t install Windows 8 Pro on ARM tablet. I think you should search Windows Store to find an iTunes replacement.
    Additionally, you can find a Windows 8 (not Windows RT) tablet that use Intel Atom CPU. These tablets doesn’t have good performance as Core i3/5/7 tablets/laptops but if you don’t use it for something like Photoshop, games, movie editing; it’s fine for you. Especially, its price is a little higher than Windows RT tablets but it’s not expensive as Surface Pro.

  6. mg

    Is there a way to install Windows Pro on a tablet? Basically can I reinstall the copy I own on my laptop on a tablet? With my current line of work I need flash and in my free time I need ITunes :/ the only way I see this happening is if I buy the Surface Pro but like I said before I don’t have the extra cash.

  7. Hoàng Tú
    Author/

    @mg:
    I’m sorry but you can’t use iTunes on Windows RT (Surface RT). Normal Windows (x86, x64) is very different from Windows RT so that legacy apps (apps that run on Windows 7 and older) need to be reconstructed to run on Windows RT. And it depends on the developers; in this case is Apple.

  8. mg

    When you said,
    “However, that does not mean you will be running traditional Windows programs like Photoshop, AutoCad, etc.”
    I assume that includes iTunes? I’m new to this and dont have the extra cash to buy Surface Pro. If this is true, is there anyway to run iTunes on an Android/Windows tablet? I use iTunes for audiobooks and movies. This is why I’m asking.